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A List Of The Most Noteworthy Sports Card Releases In December: What Are Collectors Investing In?

december sports card releases

December is another big month of sports card releases, and if you’re looking for a great Christmas gift for yourself or other collectors in your life, there are plenty of options from several sports. 

Here are the CardLines’ picks for releases to watch in December. But please note: the release schedules are very fluid and move frequently. These dates are not guaranteed.  

Noteworthy sports card releases for December

2022 Panini Absolute Football (12/02)

Absolute Football is a mid-tier product that is one of the longest-running non-chromium products from Panini. It’s stayed popular despite not being optichrome, probably because it has some of the best-looking autographs and RPAs on the market.

The boxes are pre-ordering for $400, and with each box you can expect 3 autographs (1 rookie premier materials), 2 memorabilia cards, 1 insert and 1 parallel.

Also note that you can expect to find 1 glass card and one Kaboom card per caseyou can read about the popular Kaboom SSP right here. While the 2022 draft class is weak, this is still a nice product with the potential for a big pull if you get lucky, but it also doesn’t feel like a great long-term hold. 

Shop for 2022 Panini Absolute Football hobby boxes on eBay

Brady doing the Gronk spike as a tribute to a time when he had a winning record.

2022 Topps Stadium Club Baseball (12/02)

Stadium Club is a product focused on photography. It boasts “iconic imagery from the MLB” as one of its selling points. The cards are minimalist in design – juxtaposed sharply against a logo that feels pretty dated.

These cards aren’t particularly valuable, either. However, they’ve been popular with a particular faction of collectors for decades. Each box has 16 packs of 8 cards and contains 2 autographs and “various numbered parallels and inserts. You can preorder a box for $180.

Shop for 2022 Topps Stadium Club Baseball hobby boxes on eBay

2021/22 Upper Deck Premier Hockey (12/07)

2021-22 Upper Deck Premier Hockey is a high-end hockey product that’s always an exciting roll of the dice. Each box contains just one pack of 6 cards for around $350. With only 150 cards, it’s not a huge checklist, but all the cards are numbered and include 7 tiers of parallels to chase. 

Of the six cards in the box, look for 2 Non-Autographed Memorabilia Cards, 1 Acetate Autographed Patch Card, 1 Autographed Card,  1 Regular Base Set or Base Set Legends Card (Includes Gold & Platinum Parallels), and 1 Regular Base Set Rookies Card (Includes Gold, Bronze, Purple & Platinum Parallels).

These acetate cards have become well-known to Premier and popular among its followers.

Shop for 2021-22 Upper Deck Premier Hockey hobby boxes on eBay

2021/22 Panini Contenders Optic Basketball (12/16)

Contenders Optic is not the sports card juggernaut that Donruss Optic is, but it still has a big demand for collectors. It’s a riskier rip than its Optic brethren, with just 1 pack of 6 cards in the $449 box.

The boxes include 1 auto, 2 inserts, 2 parallels and 1 base season ticket, and here’s the truth with Contenders Optic: if you’re ripping a box and want any chance of making your money back, you better hit a really nice autograph. Other than that, it’s almost always going to be a wash. 

This product has a lot of color, thankfully. Look for Silver, Red, 75th Anniversary, Blue (#’d/99), Orange (#’d/49), Green Pulsar (#’d/25), Black Pandora, Gold (#’d/10), and one of one Gold Vinyl. There are also parallels for Red and Blue Cracked Ice, and Hobby Exclusive SSP Black Pandora Parallels.

Shop for 2021-22 Panini Contenders Opic hobby boxes on eBay

Popular “Lottery Tickets” inserts are poised to return.

2022 Panini Prizm Racing (12/21)

Prizm has never sunk its hooks into racing quite like it has in the NBA and NFL. At the time of writing, hobby boxes of years past range from $125 – $200, total. Still, it’s a nice product for an ever-growing sport, especially in the sports collectibles space.

2022 Prizm Racing comes with 12 packs of 12 cards, including 4 autographs and a wide variety of colored inserts and parallels. Revving to rip some affordable Prizm? You can pre-order yours for $175 today.

Shop for 2022 Panini Prizm Racing hobby boxes on eBay

2022 Topps Five Star Baseball (12/21)

At a price-per-card level, Five Star is about as expensive as Topps gets. Each box contains only two cards and just one pack… for $250. But at that cost, you’re getting some big-pull potential.

Each card is an on-card autograph of either a legend, star or rookie, unless you get a rare cut signature or Five Stars Auto relic book card instead.

Per Topps, case hits include multi-signer cards, autographed jumbo patch cards, metallic ink autographs, and additional rare autograph cards. This is a pricey product, but if you’re looking for a Christmas miracle, it could be fun. 

Shop for 2022 Topps 5 Star baseball hobby boxes on eBay

2022 Panini Mosaic Football (12/30)

Mosaic is the stepbrother of Panini’s opti-chrome Big 3 that includes Select, Optic and Prizm. It debuted in 2019-20, at least as a standalone basketball product (It was “Prizm Mosaic” before then) and has been a consistent release ever since. It’s not a bad product – just one we didn’t really need or want. 

That said, 2022 Mosaic football looks a lot like previous years. It has 10 packs of 15 cards per pack for $325 at the time of writing, but that could drop as release day nears. Each box contains 2 autographs, 45 silvers, 15 mosaic parallels, and 20 inserts.

The colored mosaics include Red, Blue (#’d /99), Purple (#’d /49), White (#’d /25), Tesselation (#’d /15), Gold (#’d /10) and Black (#’d /1). You can also look for the new case hit, Razzle Dazzle, which might actually be the most boring-looking case hit ever. See for yourself.

Shop for 2022 Panini Mosaic Football hobby boxes on eBay

2022 Panini XR Football (12/30)

XR Football is a good product and has a lot of 1/1s. It’s releasing for $249.95 and comes with 2 autos, 1 memorabilia, 1 insert, 4 parallels, and a 1/1 auto in every case.

As Panini notes, this product features some of the best rookies the league has to offer. As Jesse notes, that would be even better if 2022 actually offered some good rookies.

This year brings some new case hits to the product. And if four new case hits weren’t confusing enough, they will be called, “Rated R, Rated XR, X-Clusive, and X-Ploits.” Good luck keeping those straight. 

As usual, XR is getting creative with memorabilia, too. The autographs can feature NFL Shields, Nike patches, team logos, draft hats, shoes, gloves, footballs and more! Word on the street is that the helmet cards are actually bulletproof. If you test this, please let us know on Twitter

Shop for 2022 Panini XR Football hobby boxes on eBay

A “Rated XR” insert, which should give literally anybody hope that their ideas are good enough to become a card.

What are you looking forward to ripping or holding? 

There are some big releases dropping in December, and we’ve got our eye on several. Let us know what you’re most excited about on Twitter @card_lines, and subscribe to our free newsletter right here. Twice a week, we’re bringing exclusive hobby news, offers and tips straight to your inbox.

Other releases in December 2022

Releases from previous months

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes is the co-founder of Solaro Shades, an Amazon #1 Bestselling novelist, and a lifelong sports card collector. His nonfiction work has been featured in Forbes, Inc., MarketWatch and more. At CardLines, Jesse’s specialties are basketball and football cards, not to mention making informative video and Instagram content.
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